Multnomah County is at a critical juncture in its operational history. The fast pace of change, driven in-part by technology, requires us to constantly assess if our current systems can adequately support our work. One of our most important countywide infrastructure systems, SAP, was assessed in 2015 and was found to not meet our current or future needs.
We will be transitioning from our current Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to a new suite of cloud-based software with greater functionality. This creates opportunities for the County to improve operational processes. This is more than a technology project—it is a business transformation program.
We began using our current ERP system, SAP, in 1999—almost two decades ago! A lot has changed in that time. We want a system that takes advantage of all that today's technology has to offer and that positions us to be ready for the technology that tomorrow brings. Just look at it like we're finally getting that handset upgrade that we've waited so patiently for!
What is an ERP?
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions in a single database, application and user interface. The basic goal of using an ERP system is to provide one central repository for all information that is shared by the various ERP parts to improve the flow of data across the organization. These various ERP parts include but are not limited to: financials, planning, human resources, payroll, purchasing/contracts, and inventory/assets.
- SAP has been Multnomah County's core ERP system for over 17 years
- Our new ERP is an integrated suite of software
Why are we implementing a new ERP?
New technologies have dramatically changed the landscape for what is possible and what is prudent in running government agencies. Multnomah County is transitioning from a server-based "legacy" system to a cloud-based system because it is more cost-effective, efficient, and capable of supporting our work now and in the future. Industry research strongly suggests that government transformation of this kind is needed, and this infographic offers a visual explanation. Transitioning our systems is essential for:
Resiliency and Security: cloud-based systems are constantly updating to give us new features without costly "upgrades," and also allow us to continue critical operations in the event of an emergency so the term "servers are down" is a thing of the past
Efficiency: data is consistent, current, and accessible across the organization with dashboard and reporting capabilities that advance every employee's ability to be more strategic, spend less time on data entry or data pulling, make more informed decisions, and ultimately better serve our customers
Mobility: not only will we be able to maneuver within a system that looks more like our smartphones with icons and fast "click-to-submit" functionality, we can access the system 24/7 from a variety of devices that all share a similar interface
When is this happening?
Software in the Multco Align program will be phased in during the Summer of 2018 and January 2019.The Multco Align Timeline provides details on the seven project phases. For perspective on when this program originated and the steps taken to get us where we are today, check out the Multco Align Background Timeline.
Who is involved?
We have combined the software implementation expertise of Deloitte Consulting, our system integrator, with our in-house functional area experts. The Multco Align Teams page provides a high-level view of the governance structure and the functional teams.